Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Silence of Murder by Dandi DaleyMackall

A young girl named Hope Long is on a mission to prove her older brother, Jeremy, is innocent of murder. Hope still believes Jeremy didn't kill Coach John Johnson, even though many witnesses saw him flee the scene with a bloody murder weapon in hand.

Jeremy is a little odd. He hasn't spoken in many years and collects empty jars as a hobby. The town of Grain is starting to notice, Jeremy doesn't quite fit in. As the trials continue on Hope deals with her obnoxious mother, who forces her to call her by Rita instead of mom, who (along with the rest of the town) is certain Jeremy killed Coach. 

Hope must also endear her brother's defense lawyer, the Sheriff's curious son Chase Wells, and her long time friend T.J. Many twists and turns happen along the way of the trial with the shocking truth revealed at the closing argument.

At the beginning of The Silence of Murder. I was very close to tossing the book out the window. As the book progressed and I became more attached to the characters, I actually began to enjoy myself. This book wasn't one of my top 5 or anything, but I sure did love how I grew attached to the characters as the trial droned on and on. I felt in areas the writing style was too childish for a young adult book. I wanted a mystery book that gave me chills and scared the living daylights out of me, but to my disappointment, the chills didn't come.

The vocabulary choice was about a 5th grade level and so were the character names. When I read a book, the characters' names really have to pop for me. I believe the author achieved her purpose by writing a grand mystery with twists and turns, but she fell short in making me jump out of my skin as the story line progressed. Her writing wasn't dull per se, but it didn't really speak to me.

I would say the strengths of The Silence of Murder was I never expected the ending, but the book failed to reach my expectations of a suspenseful mystery. I don't believe this book will be the next huge Maze Runner or Hunger Games for my age level but a shoo-in for grades 4th-6th. I enjoyed the ending but I wasn't impressed with the beginning or body of the story. It began to drag on and I found myself paying more attention to my bed cover than the words on the pages. The ending shocked me and had a huge twist right before the end. I started to foreshadow the characters actions as I read along!!

I believe the author could have been more dramatic with the murder and really tried to scare the teenagers reading her book. I didn't learn anything new from her book. I would not recommend it to anyone my age because I felt it was too young for my age and an easy read. I could have easily finished the book in two days if I hadn't had stuff to do every evening after school.

Content: 1
Rating (0 - 10 scale): 7
Reviewer Age:14
Reviewer City, State and Country: Tipp City, OH United States

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